May 28, 2021 | Guest Experience | Reading Time: 5 minutes
Customer retention in hotels is usually an underestimated topic. Hotels often worry about how to attract new guests and don’t pay enough attention to how to keep them coming back. However, the success of a venture in the hospitality sector is mainly based on whether the proprietors are aware of the importance of customer retention strategies.
As we know, the hospitality industry is based entirely around pleasing the guest. If a guest is pleased with their experience, they will most likely keep on coming back. That’s why any hospitality industry needs to be centered around what their potential clientele want and need.
It is crucial to think about the reasons that guests come and visit an establishment, and what sets a hotel out from the rest of the crowd. It costs much more money to gain new clientele than it does to maintain relationships with existing clientele, and that is another reason why prioritizing hotel customer retention is so important.
The loyalty of guests wins a hotel good word of mouth, a stable basis of customers, and a glowing reputation. So, how do you keep people coming back in an industry with so much competition?
Here are the 6 steps in maintaining hotel customer retention.
Step One – Prior to Arrival
1. Technologies and Chat Online Experience
Think about the way people book into your hotel, the different websites they can access your booking systems from, and how they can get there from other linked websites. Now think about the property management systems which you have in place to control these. These systems are crucial. Your system should feel personal and high-class, but also easy to use and not overcomplicated.
Prior to arriving at your hotel, clients should feel prioritized, and getting in touch with your team and editing their reservations should not be a stressful experience. No one is going to keep coming back to a hotel if the booking process is stressful. Staying in a hotel is supposed to take all the stress, weight, and pressure off of someone completely. And that starts in the pre-arrival stage.
Another thing to consider when we talk about hotel booking systems is call centers, customer service teams, and hotel to customer text communication. Sometimes, your front-of-house reception teams might be busy, and it is crucial to always have someone to pick up the phone to guests as this makes them feel like a priority. Or you can add a chatbot to your team to answer the online queries to improve your online support.
Similarly, many businesses are using automated texts to remind guests of their booking and ask them for reviews post-stay, which is something to consider as well.
🎧 In this episode of Hotel Cast, we chat with Adele Gutman, one of the Top 25 Extraordinary Minds by HSMAI in Hospitality Reputation Marketing and founder of Aspire Reputation, about hotel marketing and how to get the best five-star reviews:
2. Know who your VIPs are
How do you identify VIPs? Very easily. Important people will often have their hotels booked for them, or you will be able to identify them as such through the way they book with you or how they organize things during their stay. People who book suites or longer stays due to business will often edge towards VIP status, and it is important to treat them as such.
VIPs must have a reason for booking with your hotel specifically, so it is important to live up to their expectations of your hotel. Make sure the staff are aware of VIPs to ensure that they are treated with the same care and respect during their whole visit by every member of staff they encounter.
“If VIP customers enjoy their stay and are likely to return, retention will shoot through the roof; simply because you made them feel a bit special.”
Step Two – During Arrival
3. Tailor Your Customer Service
This step is actually one of the easiest to achieve, as it is something so often done accidentally in the hospitality industry anyway. Ensure that you and your staff take the time to tailor the guest experience to every single guest that walks in.
If you treat everyone the same, no one will feel special or care for; and often a hotel can simply become a transaction made for a bed for the night. It is really the little touches in this step that make the customer experience special enough for them to remember and come back in the future.
4. Ensure You Curate an Experience rather than just a Room
Brittany Davidson, a content marketer at 1day2write and Write My X, commented that, “Specialisation is one of the most interesting parts of any experience, whether it is a plane flight, a restaurant, or a hike outside. What makes your experience different than the rest, and what makes your hotel stand out?”
This is the question that people will ask themselves when choosing where to book in the future. If your hotel is not offering them anything special that they remember; the likelihood that they will come back to you in the future is very low.
Why would someone come back to a place that left little to no impression and did not offer a new or exciting tailored experience?
Step Three – After the Stay
5. Keep them Talking!
Obtaining reviews from customers who have stayed with you before is crucial for two reasons. Of course, it is good to have reviews for your website and on other platforms; it will increase the likelihood of new customers coming to stay with you. But more importantly, a customer leaving a review with you will cause engagement following their stay.
A lot of people simply stay at a hotel and then forget about it. However, this action should not be something that is resigned to and accepted, but rather something that can be changed.
A good customer retention strategy for hotels is to keep clients engaged with your brand and your business after they stay will increase their likelihood of returning.
👉Learning how to get hotel reviews is essential for a hotel’s success. Here are 10 of the most effective tips to get good hotel reviews from your customers: [10 tips to get good hotel reviews]
6. Manage your Reputation, Constantly
It is crucial to monitor what people are saying about your hotel online, and sometimes businesses employ one person or even a team of people to do this constantly. It will not only provides you with honest feedback but also may highlight areas in your business that need to be addressed. Even negative reviews need to be managed and addressed in a productive and efficient manner.
Customer Retention in Hotels
All the way from the booking systems which allow your guests to reserve their stays with you up to the reviews they leave when they exit your building. There are many important ways to manage your hotel’s customer retention rate.
Customer retention in hotels is something that is often forgotten about and let slip to the wayside in bigger hotels, and it should not be forgotten. Hopefully, these six tips will help you stay on track and build your business for the future.
About the Author: Michael DeHoyos is an online content marketer and blog editor for Dissertation Writing Service and Write My Personal Statement. He is well known for helping start-up companies and small businesses with their marketing and business strategies. He also contributes to numerous other blog websites and publications, such as Assignment Help.